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[solved] Ghost pages that are not deletable

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Sorry for the post title, I don't know how to describe it in short, and the problem is difficult to explain.

On a clients big website Google WMT pointed out to me that some URLs are not crawlable. I found out that the pages in question end like .../for-page-2095/ WHAT?

Some 1.5 years ago I created a repeater for a FAQ, and at that moment PW created pages with the wrong template at the wrong places. I checked the created dates and they match to the second. Those pages have a template baustoff-artikel and are children of the same template which was set to not allow children! The parent is one page among 2000 others and I cannot see why this page was chosen as a parent.
The parent should have been in /admin/repeaters/ and some some pages are there, but with the wrong parent as well.

However... I am unable to delete those pages, neither through the admintree, nor through the API.
I am able to delete the parent page Steinplatte ArtNr 1590, but then I cannot empty the trash! Error message: This page may not be deleted

Some screenshots:

The parent with the template baustoff-artikel which is not allowed to have children:


The pages in /admin/repeaters/


The wrong pages have nothing to do with the repeater locations.

I have deleted the Repeater that caused this, and want to delete the orphaned pages.

I am extremely puzzled and a bit traumatized and have no idea what to do next. If anyone has any idea or experienced something like that I would be grateful for a hint.

(PW version back then pre 3.0.98 and now 3.0.98)

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Repeater pages themselves are not deletable because they are system status; if you activate advanced mode and look at the settings for any of those pages, you will see that they have that checked.


In order to remove them you have to first remove that flag.


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Thanks a lot for this hint!

I mirrored the complete website(10 GB sigh...) to local. This way I can test without breaking the live site.

I will check with a fresh mind tomorrow. Everything I could expect today would be mistakes.

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16 hours ago, Macrura said:

In order to remove them you have to first remove that flag.


Thanks again @Macrura

I did it exactly like in the post above. Some pages in a loop and the pages in /admin/repeaters/ I changed the status directly in the database. There seem to be no sideeffects...


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  • 4 weeks later...

I have these sort of pages created as a side effect of trying to add new pages with repeaters via the API. I'm sure it's something I'm doing wrong and I'm still trying to work it out, but does anyone know WHY they get created, where they get their random location from and what this is a symptom of?

Thanks in advance for any hints!


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To answer my own question - this repeater came in using page import/export and when I looked in detail I could see it had a random parent in my content tree. I opted to delete (had to use API to delete system things like associated templates) and recreate from scratch (not import), then all was good.

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